50 Secret Places to Visit Now
An unpretentious—and completely private—outpost of Southern Hemisphere wilderness
Pick your ultimate hideaway on this private island in the middle of Tasmania’s D’Entrecasteaux Channel: a stunning boathouse, a clifftop luxury tent, or a sunlit, deck-wrapped summerhouse. No matter where you sleep, Satellite’s luxurious isolation is all yours. Rates start at $1,450; satelliteisland.com.au.
A storybook-style, whitewashed escape on this far-flung Out Island
Eleuthera, that wild, slender strand of coral and limestone that lies so far in kilometers and style from the buzz of Nassau, has slowly come into the spotlight for its exquisite beaches. And now, Ocean Tally’s Morocco-influenced cluster of ocean-facing cottages makes overnights simply irresistible. Rates start at $375; oceantally.com.
Astwood Cove Beach
Hidden below a park lies what may be Bermuda’s least-visited (and loveliest) little cove.
UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
A UNESCO-protected town and coastline that maintains the aura of a bohemian hideaway
In one of Brazil’s hottest destinations, these colorful casas have been carefully restored and crafted to evoke the legacy of a community that remains unperturbed by the influx of roads and electricity in the 1980s. Rates start at $495; uxua.com.
Woods on Pender
Pender Island, British Columbia
A cool cluster of renovated Airstreams in Canada’s Gulf Islands
Camping was never like this. Just off the coast of British Columbia sits tiny, conifer-studded Pender Island. And just above one of Pender’s coves sits this realization of everyone’s Airstream dreams: gorgeously renovated trailers with cedar decks, some with plunge tubs and views of Mt. Baker. A fashion-forward bar and restaurant on property will keep you a very happy camper. Rates start at $180; woodsonpender.com.
Gromin Dolac Beach
This jewel is lined with pebbled shores and 17th-century stone houses.
Salto de Javira Waterfall
El Cubano National Park, Cuba
Near popular Trinidad, hike to these icy, dark-turquoise waters for an exhilarating dip among jungle-covered limestone (and a swimmable cave behind the falls).
Dominican Tree House Village
El Valle, Dominican Republic
A canopy-level escape on the island’s beach-blessed Samaná Peninsula
For those who think the Dominican Republic is all about all-inclusives, think again. This jungle-rustic warren of open-air structures has a barefoot joie de vivre. And when you’re ready to come out from the trees, the golden sands of El Valle Beach complete the castaway fantasy. Rates start at $310; dominicantreehousevillage.com.
Salto de Socoa Waterfall
National Park Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Join locals taking a swim in these mangrove-guarded, jade-colored waters at the base of a 60-foot-high plunge.
Galápagos Safari Camp
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
African safari style pops up in Darwin’s renowned backyard at Ecuador’s first eco-luxury camp; galapagossafaricamp.com.
Qamea Resort and Spa
Qamea Island, Fiji
A private island resort that takes you back to the beach in luxurious nostalgia.
Beautifully below the radar (and right on the beach) in this South Pacific realm of overwater bungalows, Qamea Resort and Spa's collection of small villas tucked among lush tropical gardens is the power move for the Fiji veteran—or the traveler who wants to feel like one. Rates start at $606; qamea.com.
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
Refined midcentury design celebrating the Riviera’s timeless appeal
If a single spot can capture the mythos of the Côte d’Azur, it might be this one, with its saltwater pool jutting out of the rocky shore, array of outdoor lounges, and streamlined interiors that highlight the region’s light and hues. Rates start at $244; designhotels.com/hotel-les-roches-rouges.
Hôtel & Spa des Pêcheurs
Corsica’s little-known sister, with a Catherine Deneuve–meets–Marcello Mastroianni vibe
Known as the Mustique of the Mediterranean, the tiny island one mile off the coast of Corsica lures celebrities seeking privacy. The only hotel on Cavallo, the elegant Hôtel & Spa des Pêcheurs has 50 rooms set in a collection of stone cottages that hugs the shoreline, dotted with massive granite boulders. Rates start at $294; hoteldespecheurs.com.
The classic beauty of Mykonos and Santorini, minus all those tourists
Post one Instagram shot, and your friends will either divorce you in jealousy or start frantically booking their flights to this exquisite isle. Everything’s here—whitewashed stone houses, pink flowers, the cerulean Aegean—except the crowds. Complete the picture at the stunning Anemomilos Apartments. Rates start at $182; anemomilosapartments.com/hotel.
St. George, Grenada
A best-kept-secret island in the West Indies with a Bali-influenced, intimate resort
Savvy Caribbean crawlers have long loved this Franco-Creole island, and have kept their secret close to the vest. But now, with direct service on Norwegian Air and Jet Blue, the cool cat is about to come out of the bag. Get there soon and book into La Luna, an Italian-designed, Bali-influenced resort of the lowest-key high style. Rates start at $385; laluna.com.
Inishbofin House Hotel and Marine Spa
Off the Connemara coast, a wild Ireland that’s still intact (and within reach)
On the Island of the White Cow, scenic walking loops wind past crystal aqua waters, sandy beaches dotted with dark boulders, and crumbling reminders of former residents that can be traced to the Bronze Age. Stay in waterfront Inishbofin House’s contemporary lodge in the middle of the island, where the 140 or so residents have committed to protecting the flora and fauna through sustainable tourism practices. Rates start at $47; inishbofinhouse.com.
Fiordo di Furore
A quiet little town on the buzzy Amalfi Coast is home to this sweet sliver of shore.
Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola
Monte Argentario, Italy
On the lesser-known Tuscan coast, a breathtaking offshore hotel
Connected to Italy’s boot only by three narrow strips of land, this rocky semi-island has two scenic ports tucked among terraced hillsides of cypress and olive trees. Rising high above it all on a 300-foot bluff, Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola—former host to Liz and Dick, to start—offers a prime vantage point for gazing out across the azure sea to distant isles. Rates start at $164; torredicalapiccola.com.
Casa Angelina Eaudesea Experience Rooms
Luxuriously restored fishing cottages carved out of cliffs below the bustling Amalfi Coast
Is there anything more perfect than the Amalfi Coast? Yes. Casa Angelina, a picturesque resort in the Amalfi village of Praiano, has something even more remarkable on offer: An elevator, 200 steps, and a pathway into the cliff lead to four fishermen’s houses carved from the stone. Redone in perfect restraint, these are hideaways of the first order, and connect you directly to the heartbeat of sea life that has sustained the Italian coast here for millennia. Rates start at $955; casangelina.com.
Floyd’s Pelican Bar
Parottee Bay, Jamaica
The ultimate shack: made of driftwood and perched on stilts over Caribbean shallows
James Bond Beach
The sleepy golden strand is near Bond author Ian Fleming’s former estate.
Four Seasons Voavah Private Island
Baa Atoll, Maldives
The first private island from Four Seasons and the apex of secluded luxury
This five-acre island is set in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a 40-minute seaplane transfer from the nearest airport. A manta ray population patrols the turquoise waters, which can be explored aboard the island’s exclusive yacht, while the villas, suites, and venues avail it to private events of any scale—all absolutely free of uninvited guests. Rates start at $40,000; fourseasons.com/maldivesvoavah.
La Maison de l'Ilet Oscar
Le François, Martinique
Just offshore France’s sophisticated Caribbean outpost, a boho-forward private-island resort
If you haven’t yet discovered Martinique, that Caribbean possession of France that is home to some of the finest agricole rhums in the world, you’re already in for a surprise. Now hop offshore to this private island’s authentic colonial boutique hotel. You’ve gone native, and there are still superb croissants every morning. Rates start at $272; iletoscar.com.
Baja California, Mexico
This scuba-diving hot spot off the coast of La Paz is affectionately nicknamed Jacques Cousteau Island.
Punta Mosquito Beach
Isla Holbox, Mexico
Share the beauty with local flamingos on this under-the-radar island.
Los Cabos, Mexico
The high-art nest (literally): walls of twig-like latticework floating above a serene pool.
The adventurer’s retreat just around the bend from of-the-moment Puerto Vallarta
Arrive at this eclectic hotel after a boat ride and a hike into the jungle, where the colorful compound’s pared-down houses seem to sprout organically from the trees and rocky hills. Remote, reclusive, and romantic, these cottages are the perfect home base for wandering the flower-lined jungle paths, exploring smooth ocean waters, or abandoning the itinerary altogether. Rates start at $240; verana.com.
Aman Sveti Stefan
A Medieval village-turned-resort in one of Europe’s last secret corners
A manmade isthmus is all that tethers this fortified island of stone villas with red-tiled roofs, shaded courtyards, and cobbled lanes to the pink-pebbled beaches of the mainland. The village, which seems to hover above the Adriatic, stood for 600 years (and did time as a state-run tourism spot beloved by jet-setters in the ’50s) before Aman reinvigorated it as a luxury resort. Rates start at $911; aman.com/resorts/aman-sveti-stefan.
Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort
Medjumbe Island, Mozambique
Bone-white sands, the warm Indian Ocean, and a tiny island paradise
This may be the ultimate luxury escape: Fly to Mozambique along Africa’s southern coast, and then hop aboard your bespoke helicopter. Skim across turquoise Indian Ocean waters to that bright white tendril of sand all by its blissful self. Share the 12-villa resort with other lucky souls, or take the whole thing over yourself. Rates start at $758 (the whole island for $12,948); medjumbe.anantara.com.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
An Arctic fantasy: cozy, crimson-and-ochre cottages and azure waters on Norway’s northern coast
You’ve promised yourself a trip to the ends of the Earth, and this may be the best way to do it: amid the rugged, rocky splendor of this Scandinavian archipelago, under a midnight sun, ensconced in brightly colored fishing cabins—rorbuer—repurposed charmingly for savvy travelers, and reveling in the magnetic romance of the far, far North. Rates start at $210; classicnorway.no/hotell/reine-rorbuer.
Rock Islands, Palau
Swim in the island’s deep saltwater lake, home to jellyfish that have evolved in this isolated spot to have no stingers.
El Otro Lado—Private Retreat
A Pop Art jungle resort tucked inside a lush national park
Instagram was made for this cotton candy–colored cluster of villas that whispers a little midcentury, a little Caribbean, and a whole lot of charm. The verdant wilds of Portobelo National Park and the serene waters of Portobelo Bay add natural gifts to the intoxicating mix. Rates start at $525; elotrolado.com.
At this low-key, wave-blessed eco-retreat, sleep beneath the stars in tents and tepees, and reconnect with nature through yoga and surfing; tipivalley.com.
Bask in hot springs and mud baths on Ibiza’s lesser-known cousin in the Balearic Islands.
Mantis St Helena
Napoleon’s final exile, now the newest remote luxury escape
Used in the 19th century as the place of banishment for the then–most dangerous man on the planet, this volcanic subtropical island’s ruggedness is softened by the additions of a 30-room luxury hotel—with select rooms in restored 18th-century officers’ barracks—and an airport, and by its 500-plus endemic species and local population of 4,500 people known as Saints. Rates start at $285; mantissthelena.com.
The Grotto at Rayavadee Resort
The hideout cave: cocktails served beneath a limestone cliff
The chic furnished tents in the forest are only a quarter mile from cliffside beaches; mendocinogrove.com.
Kayak 30 minutes from Honeymoon Island off Dunedin to buttercream-white sands surrounded by clear Gulf waters.
Marco Island, Florida
A pristine Gulf of Mexico sandbar, it requires wading across a lagoon.
The Tarpon Lodge
Pine Island, Florida
A salty dose of Old Florida culture, and surprisingly within reach
Old Florida is having a serious moment these days, and this island perched off the Gulf Coast feels a million miles—and years—away from the hurly burly of Fort Myers. To make the escape complete, bed down at the gracious, old-school Tarpon Lodge. Rates start at $115; tarponlodge.com.
Waipi‘o Valley Beach, Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i
Water from verdant cliffs drops right into the ocean. For a two-waterfall day, hike from here to the 1,450- foot-high Hi‘ilawe Falls.
Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i
The beach is generally empty, save for sea turtles and palm trees.
Sandy Pines Campground
Designer-bedecked tents make this a grown-up’s version of summer camp heaven, with bustling Dock Square just 15 minutes away; sandypinescamping.com.
Trek two miles for the serene payoff of this insider find bordering a conservation area.
White Elephant Lofts
Hidden apartments right in the middle of Nantucket’s historic town center
This may be the best secret in the world: Thanks to the esteemed White Elephant on tony, fabulous Nantucket, you can vacation in town, right above those shops that call like sirens to you by day. Insiders know that the resort holds a pair of sunlit, modern lofts above the cobblestones, and they’re yours to inhabit—if, that is, you know to ask. Rates start at $1,800; whiteelephanthotel.com.
Blue—Inn on the Beach
Plum Island, Massachusetts
A serene, sophisticated inn on a little-known island
No, this is not the Hamptons. But this little boutique hotel, with its crisp blue-and-white interiors, will make you think you’re there. Instead, you’ve discovered a beachy getaway hidden in plain sight between Boston and the New Hampshire border. Count your blessings you found it early. Rates start at $269; blueinn.com.
Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa
Pacific City, Oregon
A new Pacific Northwest resort that feels like it’s on the edge of the world
Situated alongside a protected natural area on a stretch of Oregon coastline that, shockingly, remains an untapped (and relatively undeveloped) paradise, Headlands welcomes those seeking a quiet escape to a handsome, woodsy lodge that celebrates enduring coastal pastimes like beach bonfires and surfing. Rates start at $320; headlandslodge.com.
Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Oregon
This aptly named beauty is accessible only at low tide.
Hunting Island State Park
Hunting Island, South Carolina
A barrier island’s best-kept secret: its one little cottage
Close to the charming town of Beaufort, this beloved wild place lures Lowcountry day-trippers who gape at the windswept marvel of it all. But you know the inside play: a camping area and—better still—one darling, just-rustic-enough cabin that can be booked (far in advance). Wave goodbye to the day-trippers, and occupy your kingdom. Rates start at $200; southcarolinaparks.com/hunting-island/lodging.
Wild and windswept, Tatoosh sits at the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca off the northwesternmost tip of the Olympic Peninsula.